Herpes: what is this disease

According to the world health organization, 95% of adults and 50% of children infected with the herpes virus. Most of them do not realize it. Why this virus is still no vaccine or medications? And is it possible at all to create? Let’s see what the research say.

What is herpes?

There are two main types of herpes: oral (HSV-1) and genital (HSV-2). Oral very common: they are usually infected in childhood through kissing family members.

Genital transmitted sexually. It can manifest with blisters on the genitals or rectum, but may be asymptomatic. Genital herpes can cause HSV-1 in the case that to engage with the media oral sex.

Both types can be transmitted even if a person has no sores: the virus can be released through the skin cells.

Why there is no cure?

When both types of herpes can take antiviral drugs: they reduce outbreaks by about 70% and reduce the risk of transmission. But when humanity will completely rid of this scourge, is unknown, scientists are trying to find a cure for the past 80 years.

The fact that herpes is extremely complex. Most viruses that attack our cells and try to reproduce as soon as they enter the body. In response, our immune system produces antibodies: they paralyse enemies, and we are recovering. But the herpes virus simply do not pay attention to it. He hides in the Central nervous system – and this is an area almost inaccessible to the immune system. In addition, the disease can take months to occur in a hidden form. Therefore, the carriers of herpes may not be any symptoms.

All this complicates vaccine development.

But sometime it create?

In 2016, the company Genocea announced the completion of the 2nd phase of clinical trials of the vaccine. Patients with herpes 65% decrease in frequency of lesions and 60% chance of symptoms of the virus through the skin without lesions.

But the project was closed due to lack of money. The company has stopped development and is now primarily focused on cancer research. So far no prospective clinical trials is. It is unlikely in the coming years we will hear about how the herpes virus is defeated.

How to protect yourself from herpes?

100% effective method of protection – in addition to a complete refusal of sex, of course. But you can reduce the risk of infection, using condoms and taking antiviral drugs.

If you have symptoms of genital herpes (cracked, red sores), contact your doctor for blood tests for antibodies to HSV. If the diagnosis is confirmed, he will tell you what to do next.

Surprised that condoms do not protect from genital herpes? But they also syphilis, human papillomavirus, molluscum contagiosum and parasitic infections is not very effective. Details – in the article, “Condoms: how to use and what they do not protect”.